T-Birds close out Crowder Bash with split against Mineral Area College

The Cloud County softball team earned its first win of 2019 on Sunday at the Crowder Bash against Mineral Area College
The Cloud County softball team earned its first win of 2019 on Sunday at the Crowder Bash against Mineral Area College

NEOSHO, Missouri — The Cloud County Community College softball team got healthy at the plate Sunday, scored a total of 19 runs in its doubleheader split against Mineral Area College to conclude the Crowder Bash.

Cloud County (1-9 overall) won the first game of the day, using a nine-run first inning to build all the cushion it'd need in a 9-7 victory, before falling in a 14-10 shootout to the Cardinals (2-9 overall) in Game Two.

"We hit the ball extremely well (Sunday) and everyone was hitting the ball hard, seeing it well" Acree said. "We had a lead slip away in Game Two because of our errors and we can't continue to do that. We're just waiting on everything to gel."

The T-Birds sent 13 batters to the plate in their nine-run first inning in the first game, overcoming an early 2-0 deficit after the top of the first inning.

Hungry for their first win and playing with a sense of urgency, the T-Birds' offense erupted, led by the freshman duo of Mikayla Bletscher and Jacie Marcotte in the heart of the order.

Bletscher and Marcotte would each finish 3-for-4, with Bletscher driving in a team-high three runs and Marcotte adding a pair of RBI.

Freshman third baseman Sarah McCown (1-for-4), sophomore first baseman Alyssa Corpus (1-for-2) and freshman shortstop Kennedy Doherty (1-for-3) all recorded run-scoring at-bats in the first inning, as well.

"We haven't seen an inning like that in quite a while. It was encouraging," Acree said. "I thought we kind kind of relaxed on offense after that. It'd have been nice to see us build off that first inning, but we did continue to hit the ball hard, just right at people."

Corpus and fellow sophomore Madison Hammond split the duties inside the pitching circle. Corpus got the start and tossed three innings, limiting the Cardinals to two earned runs, while Hammond closed the door with four strong innings that saw he allow two runs, none earned, on four hits while striking out three.

As for Game Two, the T-Birds followed up their 10-hit performance in Game One with 12 hits in the second game of the twin bill, led by freshman catcher Emily Wells as she went 3-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI out of the leadoff spot.

"Emily is doing her job as the leadoff hitter," Acree said. "She's being patient and waiting on her pitch to hit. She knows the game very well and has a great feel for it."

Cloud County erased an early 4-0 deficit with a four-run third inning, then built it's lead to as many as four runs at 9-5 following three runs in the fourth and two runs in the top of the fifth.

Unfortunately for the T-Birds, the game got sideways on them after that as Mineral Area College countered with a five-run fifth inning to retake a 10-9 lead and added four more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning aided by five errors in the ballgame by Cloud County.

Freshman utility player Kara Chisolm joined Wells with her first multi-hit game of her career, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI, while Marcotte, Corpus and McCown all drove in runs in Game Two.

McCown drove in a pair of runs, making her 2-for-8 with three RBI on the day.

"Sarah had confidence at the plate and kept a nice, short swing," Acree said. "When she does that, the ball just jumps off the bat."

Cloud County will look to build off the positives as it prepares for a busy week ahead, which includes back-to-back doubleheaders against Bethany College JV and McPherson College JV on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, before starting conference play Saturday at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

"I think the girls are encouraged and if we can clean up some of the defensive things, I do like what we have," Acree said. "There's good things to come if we can put it all together."